It never stops being hard

I was just reading the blog of someone who is making a valiant attempt to stick to the new resolution of eating right and exercising regularly. More power to her! And something she said triggered a thought.

Just so everyone knows, whether you’ve been doing it for years or just started, it never stops being hard.

Now let me qualify that statement: it does get easier. At times, much easier, and even enjoyable. But easy? Let’s be serious! When I wake up at 4:30 am on a Tuesday to get that exercise in before going in to work that day — it’s not easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hesitated when the alarm clock went off, thinking, “I don’t want to face the cold” or ” I’d really rather just sleep.” When there is a legitimate snow day reason for me not to go into the gym, I rather enjoy it. Though I do try to exercise at home on some of those days. Even in summer, it’s not exactly a thrill to get up that early, just so I can exercise before work.

But will I do it? Yes. Because the goal is worth the work. And I have worked out that if I make myself sit up and just start putting on the exercise clothes, not even bothering with the light, and everything is prepped and ready for me to head out the door, all I have to do is pick it up, then I just do it.

Sometimes I think that motto is the most valuable thing Nike offers us.

I don’t think “Will I go to today?” I do sometimes think, “I don’t want to go today.” And the official day off is thoroughly enjoyed. But that’s okay — I’m still going to do it.

A great deal of this also applies to the food thing, but I’m still working on that one.

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Smartbooks may be what I want

I’ve been thinking for quite a while that the smartphone isn’t really doing it for me. I’ve been struggling to figure out what would meet me needs/wants/dreams. I think the new format of smartbooks may be it.

Maybe.

What about them appeals?

  • always on capability, much like the smartphone capability of being on without having to boot up
  • I’m assuming that they will be able to do productivity software and that I will be able to sync it to MS Outlook on my regular computer at home. This is a key capability for me, and probably for any kind of business use (although I want it for personal life), and it puzzles me that all the hype has not even mentioned it yet. I’m a trifle concerned, since with the smartphones at this point, ONLY WinMob has the FULL sync capability for all parts of Outlook (except for Journal, which is puzzling, but fortunately I don’t use that part).
    • If only someone would enable that full sync capability with my home computer, not via the Internet but direct sync via USB, I’d consider the Android OS or any of the others, but right now I’m stuck because of my commitment to Outlook. Are there any decent replacements with all its capabilities?
  • decent battery life that lasts at least the full day
  • easy ebook capability? I’ve been really iffy about a dedicated ebook reader, but I do like the possibility of having lots of books at my fingertips.
  • eventually cheaper/comparable price to smartphones

What about them doesn’t appeal?

  • Well, the fact that the manufacturers who keep talking about them don’t seem to be open to the idea of one that isn’t locked into a 3G data plan that I may not want. I DON’T necessarily want to be always on. I am more likely to want to be connected in wi-fi spots, connected at home, and otherwise working from the system itself from recorded stuff. I might find that eventually I want to be always on, but at this point, as a lifestyle choice, I’d say NO. So I want the option.
  • the fact that it can’t be my phone as well, but I can work with that with no real problem. There are plenty of cheap, small phones.

Questions?

  • Durability!!!
  • Operating system
  • How much memory? I do NOT want to depend on the cloud (nor do I fully trust it — security, you know).
  • Sync capability
  • Security, security, security
  • Touchscreen/keyboard/tablet form factor? Can all three be combined into one?
  • it better have the card reader storage capability

So, potential seen, but still in process here.

What is the purpose of government?

What is the purpose of government? it’s a question the occurs and recurs as election debates go on, as political discussions pop up, as I undertake the serious job of being a well-informed citizen. And truthfully, I don’t really think many people have truly thought their way through this. It’s a thought that I am going to return to as I come up with more ideas, but here is the first one.

The job of the government is to protect its citizens from direct harm by the actions of others, whether it be by other citizens or other countries. What does this mean? Well, right off the top, it means that we truly do need people like the police and the armed forces.

Note: I haven’t gotten into accidental harm (firefighters and other emergency services), education (schools!), or health care. Or how we pay for these things. This is just the first thought, and I’m going to stop with that one thought. But when I think of a group of people living together, the very first thought that occurs to me as a need is the need for protection, first internally and then externally. Why? Because these are two things that a person cannot truly provide for herself. Things like providing for basic needs, for education, for health care, are in a sense things that one provides for one’s self. Kind of. Mostly. In an ideal situation. But protection against a group cannot be provided for by the one person. That needs a group response. So, I think that protection is the very first duty of government.

After that, it gets a lot fuzzier.

And of course, there comes the question of how. Which is a completely different topic. But at least I’ve settled that first duty in my own mind. It helps me understand what I should focus on first when I listen to the politicians argue.

Knitting (and other crafts) Olympics

The Yarn Harlot has declared the Knitting Olympics, Ravelry is going to town with it. I’ve been debating whether or not to get involved, but I have finally decided to set myself a goal.

I am going to do the sleeves on my Lochinvar sweater. I have picked up one sleeve, and will start on it tonight with the Olympics opening. I will then try to pick up the next one when I have plenty of light and finish it off before the Olympics end.

Any other goals? Well, if I can, I will do loom maintenance and warp of the old cottolin warp with a point twill and so some spinning. That is the limit of my goals. Considering how that sweater has been haunting me, that’s plenty. It’s more of a mental challenge than a skill challenge.

In the meantime, I’m snarling over computer problems. And glad to get out of the house after all this snow!

Inspiration is where you find it

You know, it’s funny how the most unexpected source of reading can impact your decisions.

I mentioned in an old post, I think it was in July or August, that I had made an unpleasant decision and was moving on to the next step. But that next step has been hanging me up a bit. Not in an unpleasant way, but in an I’m-nervous-about-making-the-same-mistake way but I’m working myself up to a decision. Of course, part of it has been 1) I traveled a lot last fall, so I could legitimately put it off for a while and 2) I needed to heal a bit before moving on. Time passing has done some of that healing, which is why I’ve been on the verge of making a decision, but I’ve still been feeling nervous. Why? Well, I have some concerns but have been realizing that the questions I want answered are quite possibly the wrong questions to ask. That’s why I’ve kept my mouth shut about them.

Now, just to give some background, I’m a Christian, from Protestant roots, and all of these problems have been related to which congregation I choose to attend.

So, you would think that the blogs I would read would all be of the same “denomination” as I, or at least Protestant in focus. Ironically, I’ve yet to find a good one that I would want to read, though I have looked. (Maybe God doesn’t want me to read those right now?) Instead, my blog drifting has led me to subscribe to a small number of blogs, some of which are the Messianic Judaism types and several others which are all Catholic. And while I have fundamental disagreements with quite a bit of their teachings (both types), I have found a certain amount of inspiration in both, including one I’ve just read that actually helps me understand that the problems I was having are real and not just all in my head.

In its own way, my group has its own liberal and conservation worship styles, and I was having problems with the attitudes of the more liberal group. I kept feeling like I was running into a wrong focus and a great deal of selfishness, to the point that I realized I couldn’t worship there anymore. Not that I didn’t love the people or feel that they were not Christians, but that my time of worship wasn’t bringing me any closer to God. My ability to worship had been compromised. The focus on God was off. And since part of the whole point of going to church is to worship God as a group, continuing to attend there is something that had to change.

This doesn’t necessarily answer my questions about where to place membership next, but it does remind me that the decision to leave was right. And it helps me to reframe the questions I’ve been having about my next congregation. Or perhaps, more accurately, give them their proper priority.

God does provide some answers when you least expect it.

Teeswater locks

As part of an ongoing effort to try out different sheep breeds, I worked on the Teeswater sheep breed locks that I obtained from Spirit Trail Fiberworks.

They did very well, with a lovely luster. This is before I washed it, so you can see it is still very energized. After the washing, thing improved a bit, but it was still rather twisty. I don’t know if the problem is me overspinning them, or what. But I must say, I like them. I’m still trying to figure out what I am going to do with them, but it can wait.

Teeswater breed handspun, 2-ply

Teeswater breed handspun, 2-ply

Teeswater handspun, combed, 2-ply

Teeswater handspun, combed, 2-ply

January 2010 roundup

What books did I read this month?

You know, I read plenty, but I can’t think of anything significant or new. Umm, I finally did get some good recommendations for commentaries on Genesis. I’ll try to talk about them when I finish them. But in general I re-read old stuff because the items I had checked out of the library just wasn’t interesting me. Even the old John Dickson Carr mystery was rather hard to plow through.

I hate not having something good to read.

What movies, television shows, performances, etc. did I watch this month?

Nothing of any significance.

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

Visited old college friend on New Year’s day weekend. I visit once a year.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Finished up friends gift socks for Xmas, after she had had a chance to try them on in progress.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

I started the buying for my guild. Got the two DVD’s, next a book or two. I want to do some hunting to get the best price.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

How not to be hungry on few enough calories to lose weight. On the other hand, I seem to be actually losing (fingers crossed, knock on wood, pray really hard that this keeps up).

Had a nasty allergy attack on the 24th. Fortunately it seems to be past. I’m still not quite sure what triggered it, but I will take it as a warning sign to get on to the re-caulking of my shower. I’m sure there is mold holding in there.

What were my accomplishments this month?

Finally finished a job at work (review work of others, which will resume eventually). Now I just need to start on the next one.

Also got the changeover of website for my Alumnae Chapter. That turned out to be frustrating, but I got it done fairly quickly.

What were my disappointments this month?

Not enough quiet time until late in the month. But the snow is helping with that problem.

My computer is starting to act up. It’s only 15 months old — I want it to last at least two to three years before I even contemplate buying another.

Anything else noteworthy to include?

May have found a way to do the csa type thing without the limitations of last year’s csa membership, via this. A friend is testing it out. The nicest part is delivery. The next nicest part is year-round, which balances against the local when in season. I’d probably still hit the farmer’s market, but not necessarily as often, which is good, since it is a commitment and a half.